Tomorrow is another Last Day of School. I am so emotional. I love these children with all of my heart.
I have been praying my guts out for a certain boy, hoping he will continue moving toward success (I've seen SUCH growth!). I worry about each one. Some of our students will be splitting off to the new school (just one year, then back together for 7th grade). I wonder how this might affect friendships.
A couple of students said goodbye today because, and I quote, "My mom thinks it's lame that school is only an hour and a half on the last day." Really? I think it's lame that students can't show up for an hour and a half. No, I did not say that out loud to anyone. Something to be said for "finishing right."
Don't they know?
Don't they know I still take attendance on the last day? Don't they know there's a report card? Don't they know I have a little present for each one? Can't they assume I have some Last Day of School traditions that are fun as well as powerful? Would they even suspect that I cover all of my politically correct bases by forcing the children to take a moment to say a real "goodbye" to me? Forced and PC because I allow them to choose the method: handshake, high five, or hug (psst...please choose hug, if it doesn't make you too uncomfortable).
Don't they know these are the only children I have?
"Mrs. Kyburz, can I tell you something?" Fifty times a day, every day, and I really love her.
Kids bursting into song (or my Irish dancer bursting into Irish dance). Could be Journey. Could be One Direction. Or One Republic. Could be a Hope of America song. Perhaps a commercial jingle. Could be that yodeling song from Sound of Music.
Brain teaser group games. Mancala champions of the world. Down by the banks of the hanky... Rock, paper, scissors.
"Can I help you with anything?" Honestly, if their parents could SEE how much they love to help at school!
Tattling reports of "he said/she said." The age old, "We were just playing." Or..."I don't have a partner." The kid who shows up with a mask when nobody else does because that's just the way he rolls.
Sidewalk chalk on the playground that reads, "Mrs. Kyburz is the best 5th Grade Teacher ever!" I gulped a little because I'm sure the other fifth grade teachers have equally devoted fans.
Yes, go ahead and have another Life Saver. It's the end of the year, what do I care?
What do I care? I care a lot. Got a meaningful thank you note from a mom today. Just read an email from a dad that ended like this: thankyouthankyouthankyou. Cried like a baby when my husband asked about my day. I am a mess.
That grin. That scrunched up face. That kid who never has their planner ready for me to check. That girl with her nose in a book perpetually. Perpetually! And now that boy. He's caught "the disease" as well! Friends whose faces light up when they get to be on the same team or in the same group. The matching skirts. The giggles. Especially the boy giggles.
I gave them their scores from the writing exam (standardized testing). They are the best scores I've ever seen on that test! I am so proud of these hard-working students! I tried to choose the most accurate words I know for praise. I tried to convey my pleasure as well as my awe.
I tried. I tried all year. Made some mistakes. Saw some success.
And after our short time together tomorrow, they are no longer mine. They fledge from my nest. All I can do is chirp out a little encouragement.
What am I saying?
They will always be mine.
6 hours ago